Abia state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has appealed to the Nigerian Army to reduce the presence of its officers in the state, following the crisis that has erupted in Aba and Umuahia between the military and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
The Nigerian military recently begun and exercise code named ‘Operation Python Dance’ in the southeast which has since roused mixed reactions across the country.
On Sunday, September 10, there was a clash between soldiers and IPOB members in Umuahia and Aba during which some people sustained injuries.
Also, soldiers invaded the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat in Umuahia, on Tuesday, September 12, accusing the reporters of writing stories that are against them and smashed some of their electronic gadgets. The rising security tension in the state prompted Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to impose a 3-day curfew in Aba.
More so, Governor Ikpeazu met with traditional rulers and the General Officer Commanding (GOC) commanding the 82 Division of the Nigeria Army Enugu, Major General A.B. Abubakar, at Government House Umuahia on Wednesday, September 13.
A statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos noted the highlights of the meeting saying the Governor and the traditional rulers appealed to the GOC to reduce military presence in the state, particularly at Aba and Umuahia, as tension in the areas have gone down.
The Governor also urged the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to ensure that those who are brought into Abia from other states, in order to cause trouble and engage in acts capable of causing a breach of law and order, should be prevented from entering the state.
In the meantime, Governor Ikpeazu has extended the dusk to dawn (6 pm to 6 am) curfew imposed on Aba, the commercial city of the State by one day.
The initial three-day curfew imposed on Tuesday, September 12, was to end on Thursday but the Government has extended it by one day.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu announced the extension in a Government Special Announcement issued by his Chief Press Secretary. He expressed displeasure with the situation where people are compelled to raise their hands while passing through security checkpoints other inhuman treatments and barbaric acts and warned that such acts must stop.
The statement reads:
“The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has extended the three days curfew imposed on Aba to Friday, 15th September 2017.
“The Governor wishes to advice residents and visitors to fully co-operate with security agents to ensure continuing maintenance of law and order within the commercial city and environs.
“He also wishes to express his displeasure with the situation where people are compelled to raise their hands while passing through security checkpoints and hereby call on security agents and all concerned to ensure that such acts, and other forms of inhumane and barbaric treatment of people, are discontinued immediately.”